COVID-19 vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford went on human trials from April 23
COVID-19 vaccine developed by researchers at the University of Oxford went on human trials from April 23|Representational image
NEWS

AstraZeneca halts Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials for safety

A participant in the phase 3 testing in the UK suffered an unexplained illness. The nature of the reaction is not known.

Shoubhik Roy Choudhury

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have put phase 3 testing of their Covid-19 vaccine on hold. According to the company, a participant in the UK suffered an unexplained illness. The nature of the reaction is not known.

AstraZeneca, was a frontrunner in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine till now. A company statement said, "As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered, and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee.

The company says that this is a routine action whenever there is an unexplained illness during the trials. They are investigating the case to maintain the integrity of the trials.

"We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline," the spokesperson added.

The AstraZeneca plcAZN.L (AZN.L) vaccine was one of the most promising on phase three trials. It can protect against contracting the infectious virus for only a year; This was revealed by Pascal Soriot, the CEO of the company on Tuesday, June 16.

The company was hoping to complete clinical trials by September and be ready to deliver the vaccine from October. The new glitch means that the wait could be prolonged. The company did not divulge the details of the illness faced by the participant or the delay that has been caused to the programme.

Serum Institute of India (SII) has signed a deal with Astra Zeneca to supply one billion doses of vaccine for low and middle-income countries.

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